Living on a cul-de-sac may make you fat

Suburbia bad for your health
Suburbia bad for your health

Sometimes living in suburbia feels like just one insult after another. First we're blamed for global warming (commutes, SUVs, all that) and then we're the shame of modern urban planners (dun-colored sameness, roads that go nowhere, mini-malls and minuscule pocket parks).

Now it turns out even our cherished cul-de-sacs -- havens of "Kids at Play" signs, full-court basketball games, eternal garage sales and awkward parallel parking -- are at fault.

Professor Lawrence Frank, who has an academic chair in "sustainable transportation" at the University of British Columbia, has created quite a splash in planning circles with new research equating cul-de-sacs (or as some commenters on this post point out: "culs-de-sac") with obesity. Frank's data showed that those living in more walkable areas -- i.e. those with the most interconnected streets -- travel 26% fewer vehicle miles than those living in cul-de-sac dominant neighborhoods.